Posts Tagged ‘kimchi brine’

Sunday, December 28th: Happy New Year! 2015 – Can You Believe It?!?

December 27, 2014
Bottle-fermented hard ciders from Finnriver Farm & Cidery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bottle-fermented hard ciders from Finnriver Farm & Cidery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing says, “It’s time to par-tay!” like the prospect of new calendars! Am I right, people? This coming Wednesday night, we’re going to eat expensive, rich foods, drink irresponsibly, watch stuff get blown up and kiss perfect strangers in the strangest of all our annual celebrations — the celebration of new calendars. Woohoo! And we’ll need a cork to pop at midnight, folks. I suggest a bottle or three of this bottle-fermented hard cider from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Its natural effervescence will tickle your nose and please your palate!

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Then, on Thursday, after we’ve hung our shiny new calendars in our favorite calendar spot, we will dig out our favorite stretchy clothes, make a huge breakfast, and spend the rest of the day sitting around, watching football, dog shows or Rick Steves marathons on TV, or maybe going for a nice walk, while we make grand pronouncements of resolutions for the new calendar year. We can’t help you with your list of resolutions (beyond your commitment to eating more local food!), but we can help you with that big breakfast! For that, stop by Stokesberry Sustainable Farm for some of their eggs. These are the eggs that the Seahawks eat, and they’ll have lots of them today!

Whole smoked side of King salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole smoked side of King salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

But back to that New Year’s Eve party. Your Ballard Farmers Market has everything you’ll need for it. And if we don’t have it, you don’t need it! Like how about whole sides of smoked local king salmon from Wilson Fish? This is the smoked salmon of my dreams! And it’ll make your party the best ever.

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Sodas’s fresh sodas will keep your teetotallers and designated drivers happy, and their syrups and sodas make for great mixers for the rest of your guests!

Seastack cheese from Mt Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seastack cheese from Mt Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Some nice Seastack cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery will suit your guests just fine, either on its own or on a nice cracker or a slice of crusty bread.

Keta Ikura from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Keta Ikura from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And try a nice dollop of ikura from Loki Fish on top of your Seastack, or as a delicious, salty accent to any number of apps and dishes. Loki makes their ikura from the eggs of local keta salmon, and they are delish!

Nut Crunch from Pete's Perfect Toffee at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nut Crunch from Pete’s Perfect Toffee at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget to indulge that sweet tooth one more time before those resolutions kick in with some of this nut crunch from Pete’s Perfect Toffee! Or some of their fudge, brittle or other great toffees.

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Before you head to that late night party, treat yourself and your sweetie to one of these Flintstones-sized beef rib chops from Sea Breeze Farm. Or maybe some nice duck breasts. And grab some of their awesome pates and sausages for your party, too!

Cannoli cream puffs from Little Prague European Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cannoli cream puffs from Little Prague European Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finish off your pre-party dinner with some sweets for the sweet in the form of these cannoli cream puffs from Little Prague European Bakery.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

But come New Year’s Day, let the recovery begin! Start with a bottle or two of our local kombucha from CommuniTea Kombucha. It will give you a boost of energy, fill your belly with lots of friendly little critters, and it just plain tastes great, too!

Sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Some lovely sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd will also make your body happy in the new year. It is a nice dose of healthy protein full of live cultures that will get the pipes moving again!

Kraut and kimchi brine from Britt's Pickles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kraut and kimchi brine from Britt’s Pickles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And a shot a day of one of these delicious kimchi and sauerkraut brines from Britt’s Pickles is just what the doctor ordered. See, when their krauts and kimchis are finished fermenting, and they pull them out of their crocks to pack them in jars for sale, the bottom of the crocks are full of the juices produced by the fermentation process, complete with all the flavors of the finished products. Plus, these brines are full of lots of living beneficial bacteria that will cure what ails you!

Paglia e Fieno fettuccine from Pasteria Lucchese. at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Paglia e Fieno fettuccine from Pasteria Lucchese. at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget the long life noodles for a healthy new year! For that, we recommend fresh pasta from Pasteria Lucchese, like this fettuccine, some of their pappardelle or some tagliatelle.

Braising mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And then there is roughage. We’ve spent the last month eating simple carbs and protein. Reintroducing ourselves to leafy greens will be an excellent career move! Stop by Colinwood Farm for a couple bags of their great braising mix! You’ll thank me later.

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Sunday, June 2nd: Local Tuna, Hard Cider, More Strawberries, Spectacular Salad Mix, Glorious Green Garlic & Other Deliciousness!

June 1, 2013
Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! It’s already the first Sunday in June! Besides the fact that we are charging headlong into summer — and the fact that today’s weather actually feels like summer — it also means that today is tuna day! That’s right. Today, we get our monthly visit from Fishing Vessel St. Jude with their amazing albacore tuna. Better yet, they have a new catch of tuna today cut for you. See, they freeze their tuna at sea after catching it to preserve its quality. Then they cut and wrap it in loins and portions on land for Market. Wait, what? Portions? Yes! They will have, for the first time in months, those smaller portioned sizes many of us have been missing. See, one or two people cannot necessarily get through a 2-3 pound lion all by themselves, but the smaller portions of St’ Jude’s sashimi-grade albacore tuna are the perfect size for anyone!

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There are so many ways to enjoy local albacore tuna, and one of my favorites is to cut a few steaks off of a loin, pan-sear them simply with a little olive oil — they don’t need much, because of their abundant natural oils — salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, so they are mostly raw inside, and then lay them over the top of a big, beautiful salad. In fact, I did just that on Saturday night, using as my base some of this extraordinary spicy salad mixed, complete with edible flowers, from Colinwood Farms. A mix of lettuces, mustards, arugula, spinach, mizuna and more, and topped off with colorfully delicious edible flowers, I garnished it with some of Colinwood’s carrots, some pink beauty radishes and Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm, and some garlic chives from Children’s Garden. Yeah, baby!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Cidery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine and Cider. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eaglemount Wine & Cider has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market on a regular basis now, and we couldn’t be more excited! Eaglemount and Finnriver Farm & Cidery now both bring excellent artisan ciders and fruit wines to you every Sunday from the Jeffereson County on the Olympic Peninsula — a region becoming a center for Washington’s burgeoning old-world cider-making industry. Grab a bottle or two today, and get a taste of one of the oldest forms of food preservation!

Strawberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More strawberries! Woohoo! These lovelies are from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) from up on the Canadian Border in Everson. They just started harvesting them a week ago, so numbers are still a little on the low side. You’d better get here early, if you want some today. But never fear. By this time next week, we’ll have at least six farms in your Ballard Farmers Market with strawberries! (BTW, Sidhu Farms has also started harvesting strawberries, and will have some today.)

Red leaf lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red leaf lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Got lettuce? Summer Run Farm does! This is some of their gorgeous, and humongous, red leaf lettuce. Their heads of lettuce are so big, they are often twice as big as your own head (or two-thirds as big as mine)! So, get your lettuce on today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, look! It is some of those aforementioned Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. They are as tasty as they are beautiful. I love to eat them raw, like a radish, on their own, or sliced up in a salad. Or you can do a quick sauté on them. And don’t forget to toss in those greens when you sauté them. You are getting two veggies for the price of one, so don’t waste those greens, people! They also have some awesome spicy salad mix of their own, plus collard greensfrisee and more!

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is sugar snap pea season, folks, and our buddies at Alvarez Organic Farms have a ton of these sweet, crunchy and delicious spring treats just waiting for you to devour them. Throw them into your salad. Dip them in some hummus from House of the Sun. Munch them on their own at the beach, right out of the bag. Lightly sauté them. You cannot go wrong. Enjoy!

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While you are having your picnic at the beach and inhaling an entire bag of sugar snap peas, or you are enjoying your big, beautiful salad topped with tuna, you will need some of this magnificent artisan bread from our friends at Grateful Bread Baking. Oh, and be sure to pick up some butter from Golden Glen Creamery, or some fresh goat cheese from Twin Oaks Creamery to smear on it, while you’re at it!

Green garlic from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green garlic from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whatever you are roasting, sautéing, grilled — eating — this time of year, you must add some green garlic to the mix! Green garlic is the immature form of the garlic heads we will see later in the summer. Farms like Pa Garden thin their garlic fields this time of year to allow their garlic to be able to bulb out, and they bring the green garlic they thinned out to market for us to enjoy. You can eat the whole thing, as long as the greens are still green and you’ve cleaned it thoroughly. Cut it up like you would a green onion or scallion and toss it in the pan with your favorite greens, or in with your veggies before they go in the oven, and douse it with some olive oil and grill it alongside your protein. Yummers!

Whole grains from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole grains from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for some local whole grains to mill for flour, roll for cereal, or cook whole for a lovely base or side to many recipes? Nash’s Organic Produce has whole grain red wheat and whole grain rye available for you right now. They also have it milled into flour, so you don’t have to do all the work! Nash’s works very closely with WSU organic grain researcher Dr. Stephen Jones, and they are helping him with field trials of various grains, to identify those that will grow best here in Western Washington. See, it used to be, before the advent of modern industrial agriculture, that all grain was local, and each community relied upon the grains that grew in their region. That’s what folks like Nash’s and Dr. Jones are striving to return us to. Pretty cool, eh?

Tummy Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tummy Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you use them as a cocktail mixer, to dress a salad or enhance your slaw, or you just like to ingest it by the shot glass, your palate and your body will love Firefly Kitchens‘s line of Tummy Tonics. These tonics are actually the residual juices left over from the fermenting process when they make their award-winning krauts and kimchis. When they bottle them, they also bottle the  brine left at the bottom of the fermenting vat. There isn’t a lot of this stuff, so you can pretty much only get it here at the Market. Try some today. You can thank me later!

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, April 21st: Happy Earth Day Tomorrow! Let’s See What Lessons We Can Learn From Our Vendors About Respecting Mother Earth!

April 20, 2013
Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Happy Earth Day! Most of us have a sense about your Ballard Farmers Market helping us tread a little lighter on our Mother Earth, but today, let’s take a look at many of the ways the Market’s vendors teach us about living more in harmony with our environment. Take oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company, for instance. Oyster farming in our local waters requires clean water, and as such, this industry actually encourages us to keep Puget Sound cleaner. But did you know that our environmental sins from years ago, and seemingly unrelated to water pollution, are actually threatening our beloved bivalves today? You see, all that carbon we are pumping into the atmosphere from our coal power plants, our cars and our furnaces has to come down somewhere, and a lot of it is being absorbed into our oceans, where is settles to the bottom in an acidic soup. Now, the North Pacific currents are pushing all that acidic water right up into Puget Sound and Hood Canal, where it is beginning to dissolve oyster larvae and other shelled species before they can even get settled in the mud. It is called Ocean Acidification, and we all need to learn about it, change our habits — drive less, get more efficient cars, switch to electric heat pumps, etc. — and we need to Stop The Coal Trains from shipping more coal to China, where it will just make matters worse. If it isn’t good to burn here, we shouldn’t be giving it to them to burn there!

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Plant a garden with local, organic veggie starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Sure, we want you to visit us every Sunday all summer long for the best fresh, local produce anywhere, but if you are planning to plant your own garden, get your veggies starts here, too. That way, you’ll know how they were raised, and using what kind of seed. And the more food we can grow right here in Puget Sound, the less we have to import from other parts of the country and world!

Nash's cover crop seed blend returns nutrients to your garden's soil naturally, without the need for harsh chemical fertilzers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s cover crop seed blend returns nutrients to your garden’s soil naturally, without the need for harsh chemical fertilzers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Skip the nitrogen chemicals in synthetic fertilizers, and enrich your soil naturally with nitrogen-fixing cover crops. Nash’s Organic Produce offers a nice cover crop seed mix that you can toss about your garden to help draw the nitrogen your veggies will need right out of the air and ground. Then, when you turn it into the soil before your planting, it will breakdown, leaving all those nutrients right there in your garden to feed all your plants!

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm will have these lovely Pink Beauty radishes today, as well as Tom Thumb & Little Gem lettuce, at your Ballard Farmers Market. Did you know that One Leaf is only in its third year of operations? Yup. We are adding farms to King County — they are located in Carnation, for instance — and that means less need to import. During the WTO protests in Seattle back in 1999, visiting farmers from around the world taught me that the best thing we can do to help them in their countries is to buy local food here. That’s because when we buy imported produce, we are supporting a system of corporate agribusiness that takes over local farmland in other countries to grow large amounts of mono-cropped foods for the U.S. market. In the process, they force the local farmers, who are growing culturally relevant and organic foods for their local communities off of their land, resulting in lost crop diversity and food insecurity in regions of the world with very fertile farmland. So, Think Globally. Eat Locally!

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat wild foods! Before European settlers came to Puget Sound, local Indian tribes practiced a form of agriculture that would be almost invisible to us today. They managed the native, wild edible plant and animal species on a grand scale, so that come berry season, mushroom seasons or time for a clam bake, they knew right where to find dinner. In that spirit, folks like Foraged & Found Edibles today try to protect their harvesting grounds, as their livelihoods also depend on them. So enjoy some wild morel mushroomsstinging nettles or fern fiddleheads this week from your Ballard Farmers Market, and get back in touch with your wild side!

Andrew Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Andrew Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Keep your knives and tools sharpened and healthy, so they last longer, all while supporting an ancient artisan trade that does not required electricity! Your Knife Sharpening Guy will put a fresh edge on your kitchen knives, garden sheers, shovels and even your reel lawnmowers, all with a zero carbon footprint. There is no need for you to buy new stuff. Your old stuff can be made new again!

Ikura from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ikura from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Support your local fishery! Washington does a very good job managing its commercial fisheries. So you know, when it’s caught in Washington waters, it is done so sustainably. Loki Fish catches Keta salmon, from which comes this Ikura, right here in Puget Sound. And this summer, they will also catch Pink Salmon here, too. Wilson Fish catches King Salmon along the Washington Coast. Your support of these local fishing vessels at your Ballard Farmers Market ensures their ability to keep catching the best fish around, and keep family traditions — and wages — alive, as well!

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Support Puget Sound Appellation wineries, like Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Most folks think all the wine grapes in Washington grow east of the Cascades, but the truth is that there is a robust grape-growing region right here in Puget Sound! Lopez produces three certified-organic estate wines from their island-grown grapes, including Madeleine AngevineSiegerrebe and Wave Crest White. These wines win many awards, and we are lucky to have them right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cleanse your body, rejuvenate your soul, and reuse your bottle! Communi-Tea Kombucha let’s you do all three! This fermented tea beverage will give you a boost of energy, cure what ails you, and when you are ready for your next bottle, they will even take your old bottle back, wash it, and reuse it! Unfamiliar with kombucha? Try one of these handle 250 ml. bottles. This is the finest, freshest kombucha you will find anywhere!

Sunshine rings from Itali Lambertini. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunshine rings from Itali Lambertini. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Reuse your gold… or someone else’s, at least. That’s what Port Townsend jeweler Itali Lambertini does. Gold mining around the world is very toxic and destructive, and many of us are familiar with the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, that threatens to destroy the largest wild salmon spawning grounds left on earth — home to more than half of the planet’s remaining wild salmon. And yet, there is plenty of gold already in circulation, mined decades and even centuries ago. So why go to some generic jewelry store in a mall to get a ring made of virgin gold that is the same as a thousand other rings, when you can get a unique ring, made with recycled gold, made by a local artist, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market? I mean, it’s not just the thought that counts. The materials and craftsmanship count, too!

Pea vines from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pea vines from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm & Education Center is another King County farm, and besides bringing us amazing local veggies, like these pea vines, in season now, they also operate an educational program that teaches children and adults alike all about organic farming and its benefits, right in Duvall! Of course, supporting them also means you are keeping your dollars recirculating in our local economy, thus creating local, living-wage jobs, instead of exporting your dollars to another state or country. Your support of local jobs means that local farmers are able to support you right back, as they, too, support local businesses. You see, a rising tide floats all boats. We all succeed together… or the alternative.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat lower on the food chain! House of the Sun produces delicious, nutritious raw and vegan foods, like these awesome kale chips! They get their ingredients from Market farmers. They have a smaller carbon footprint, because they aren’t heating things to cook them. Not cooking foods preserves many nutrients that can be destroyed by cooking them. And you can get your savory and sweet snack on without having to go to the Big Box store to buys some over-packaged “food” made who knows where with who knows what!

Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat local honey! Local honey, like from our own Golden Harvest Bee Ranch, supports to protection of local bees, which do a lot of the heavy lifting around here, pollinating most of the crops we know and love here at your Ballard Farmers Market. But did you know that the bees themselves are in trouble? And if they are in trouble, we are in trouble. There’s a thing called Colony Collapse Disorder that has devastated honey bee populations far and wide. So remember, while supporting your local bee can help you will allergies and sweeten your tea, you should also learn more about CCD and what you can do to stop it.

Pumpkin bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pumpkin bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat gluten-free! More and more Americans are finding they have gluten sensitivity. But that is no longer a life-sentence of really crappy baked goods. Not at your Ballard Farmers Market, at least. That’s because we have d:floured gluten-free bakery, makers of all manner of sweet and savory gluten-free deliciousness that does not skimp on flavor in its pursuit of gluten-free goodies. Take this pumpkin bread, for instance. I beseech thee to find another pumpkin bread around that is better than this! Quite simply, whether or not you are avoiding gluten, you will love everything on d:floured’s tables.

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Detox your home! Ascents Candles makes their candles with natural oils, not petroleum products, which means you are not filling your home with toxic fumes when you burn them. Plus, they are scented with various natural essential oils that will help set the mood, whatever mood you are aiming for. And if you’re eating dinner and want no scent at all from your candles, they’ve got them, too. Because after all, Earth Day ultimately starts at home!

One more way to celebrate Earth Day every Sunday is to remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Sunday, January 22nd: No Snow, We Promise! Instead, Find Collard Greens, Purple Top Turnips, Gala Apples, Beautiful Beef, Kimchi Brine, Buckwheat Flour, Crabapple Jelly & So Much More!

January 22, 2012

Just another gorgeous day at your Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thought we could all use this warm, sunny image from last May. Ah, doesn’t that sunshine feel good? And just look at that blue sky! Well, the good news is that the muck, slop and slush are just about gone, and things are getting back to normal. The kiddies will be back in school tomorrow, finally, and you’ll be back at work. And you will need nourishment to get you through it. So many of you were scared off from attending your Ballard Farmers Market last week for fear of snow that I imagine many of you practically starved to death this past week. And that is a shame, since we didn’t have any snow at your Ballard Farmers Market last Sunday – none! We could see it falling on Queen Anne — where it belongs, frankly! — but here in the People’s Republic of Ballard, it was like a magic force field had been erected, and we remained snow-free, with a full compliment of vendors! And we’ll have close to a full house today, too.

Collard greens from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So come on down support your local farmer, and get some delicious local food in your belly after that long last week. Like these spectacular collard greens from Colinwood Farms. They will absolutely recharge you. And Colinwood will have salad mix, braising mix, some righteous kale, parnips and more today, too!

Gala apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic Produce will be in attendance today with lots of these gala apples, and a bunch of other organic apples, too. And given how many sniffles I heard while I was out and about on Saturday, you are gonna need some of these beauties in order to ensure that you keep the doctor away, right?

Beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, being holed up in my house for a week, foraging out now and then for a brief walk in the frozen tundra of North Ballard, only to find almost every business, bank and library closed, I kinda started to develop a bit of a hankering for milder days, when I would fire up the barby on my deck to grill up a nice grass-finished beef steak from Skagit River Ranch. But this is Ballard, and a milder day simply means my Smokey Joe ain’t encased in ice. So grill I will tonight!

Purple top turnips from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m thinking a nice root roast, and some of those aforementioned collard greens, will side my steak nicely, eh? Full Circle Farm has these lovely purple top turnips now, ripe for the roasting, as well as some gorgeous celeriac, and plenty more.

Kimchi brine from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what else those turnips would go well with? Some of this kimchi brine from Firefly Kitchens. You’ve had their outrageously good kimchi, right? Well, this is the juice left in the crock after the kimchi is fermented, then removed to be bottled. This stuff is incredible, and it’ll put some kick into all sorts of dishes. And like their various fermented foods, this stuff is alive with pro-biotics, and if I am anything, I am pro-biotic! Stop by and visit them for a sample taste. You will be going home with a bottle.

Gluten-free buckwheat flour from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back in 1999, during my first year as Executive Director of the Washington State Farmers Market Association, we had our board retreat in the tiny little city of Waterville, perched high up above the Columbia River gorge on Highway 2, surrounded by wheat fields. We met there then because grain, one of Washington’s largest crops, was essentially unheard of at farmers markets, and we wanted to be reminded of that while we met. 13 years later, much like wine, meat and cheese, we cannot imagine our Ballard Farmers Market without local grain products direct from area farms, and lots of baked goods made with local flour. But what we still have not had, until now, has been gluten-free flour. That changes today! Welcome buckwheat flour from Nash’s Organic Produce. Yup. You heard right! Enjoy!

Lavender honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Harvest Bee Ranch was one of the few vendors unable to make it last Sunday due to weather. Seems Whidbey got the gift of snow on Saturday last week. Ah, the glories of the Convergence Zone. (I mean, do you ever find yourself talking to someone from outside the Puget Sound area, and you mention the Convergence Zone, and they have no idea what you are talking about? You can find it on weather maps, but not Google maps!) Well, they are back today, with their wide assortment of local honey flavors, like this lavender honey.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love these kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. These guys make all sorts of great raw, vegan foods using local ingredients. But these chips baffle people. How do they make ’em with cooking ’em, folks wonder. Simple. They season them, and then they dehydrate them. Genius! Sure, we could do this at home, but it is so much simpler, and most likely tastier, to get some from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. And guess what? They no longer package them in plastic containers! That’s right. They’ve gone to fully compostable paper bags lined with natural cellophane!

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“Blessed are the cheese makers.” Thank you, Monty Python, for that. And thank you, Samish Bay Cheese, for being one of those blessed cheese makers. Samish Bay makes quite a variety of cheeses these days, from mild to sharp, and seasoned with from chives to chocolate. This photos shows just six of them! Are you getting enough cheese?

Crabapple jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rebecca tells me she found the crabapples for her Deluxe Foods crabapple jelly right here in the neighborhood, if I’m remembering the tale correctly. See, not a lot of crabapples are grown commercially around here, which is a shame. Cuz crabapples are seriously old school. You know, Deluxe Foods specializes in heirloom jam recipes like this, made with amazing local ingredients. Stop by for a taste today, and give your toast a little more class tomorrow morning!

Hey, there is plenty of local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.